Author(s): Liliac L, Amalinei C, Balan R, Grigoras A, Caruntu ID
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Abstract Starting from the information on ovarian cancer provided by the mainstream publications, we construct a review focusing on the following issues: (i) the genetic profile, (ii) the role of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the acquirement of malignant features, (iii) the controversial hypothesis regarding the origin, and (iv) the involvement of the immune system in the tumoral microenvironment. Advances in the decipherment at the genetic level in the pathogenic mechanisms progressively lead to the idea of a genetic signature for the ovarian cancer. Moreover, the complementary approaches oriented towards the decryption of the intrinsic structure of the expressed molecules and, implicitly, the development of proteomics open new perspectives for an early diagnosis and an appropriate treatment. The research on the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (mainly those exploring the signaling pathways responsible for the switch between the loss of the epithelial characteristics and the gain of a mesenchymal cell phenotype, with results in the amplification of differentiation, motility and tumoral invasion) allow a deeper understanding of the complex pathogenic mechanism which governs ovarian carcinogenesis. The classic conception of ovarian cancer pathogeny, based on the role of the ovarian surface epithelium, is currently reconsidered, and a novel hypothesis is formulated, which supports direct involvement of the Fallopian tubes for the serous type. Although recent research suggests the implication of immune/inflammatory cells by specific mechanisms in ovarian cancer pathogenesis, there is yet reliable evidence concerning their modality of direct action and/or modulation of tumoral growth. Thus, ovarian carcinogenesis remains a research challenge, due to still numerous unknown factors involved in the malignant transformation sequences, originating from the genetic-molecular alterations and reflected by cellular and tissue expression patterns.
This article was published in Histol Histopathol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy